30th November, 2017

This Christmas, FPA is supporting Patient.info with a campaign to raise awareness of how to look after your sexual health during the party season.

A survey of 2,000 office workers in Britain carried out by Patient.info found that nearly one in five have had a sexual encounter with a colleague at the office Christmas party, with one in 10 saying that they picked up a sexually transmitted infection (STI), or know someone who has, from a co-worker.

The survey found that men are 30% more likely than women to have had a sexual encounter at the office Christmas party and are 40% more likely to have got an STI from a colleague.

The research also revealed that 18-24 year olds are nearly six times more likely to have got an STI from a colleague than 45-54 year olds – although the survey also found 55-65 year olds to be the most likely group to have hooked up with a colleague or know someone who has.

And when it comes to having that awkward conversation, 13% of people said they wouldn’t tell the colleague in question if they were diagnosed with an STI.

Natika H Halil, Chief Executive of FPA, said:

“While the festive season is a great time to let your hair down, it’s important that people remain aware of the risk of unprotected sex. We would advise anyone who has had unprotected sex with a colleague or someone else to get tested for STIs as soon as possible. Additionally, if unplanned pregnancy is a risk, it’s best to try and get emergency contraception as soon as possible.”

[If you think you might have an STI, it's time to get tested. For help and advice, see FPA's Sexwise page on STIs.]

The survey from Patient.info was carried out to explore the UK’s awareness and attitudes towards STIs and highlight where further education needs to be provided. The survey findings found that many people did not understand the prevalence and risk of specific STIs, for example:

  • 29% of people would not be worried about contracting chlamydia from a casual sexual encounter, despite it being the UK’s most common STI

If you’ve had unprotected sex or are worried about symptoms, the advice from Patient.info and FPA is that you should always get yourself tested at a sexual health clinic or speak to a healthcare professional as soon as possible.